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This Tuskegee Airman Received the Best News of His Life!

tuskegee airmen awards

The Tuskegee Airmen have been praised by our generation for the work they did in World War II after years of obscurity and an agenda to keep them silent. Wallace C. Higgins, 91, was selected to be part of the Tuskegee Airmen experiment and now years later, he’s being honored as it should be.

From what I know, the Tuskegee Airmen faced a lot of adversity and they showed nothing but grit and professionalism as they etched their names in American history.

Higgins received the best news of his life, and I for one am very proud of him.

tuskegee airmen awards

From Air Force Times:

“I can’t say enough,” said Higgins, 91, who left behind his education in 1943 to join the U.S. Army. After aptitude testing and basic training, he was selected to be part of the Tuskegee Airman experiment in Alabama, and was trained in pre-flight at the Tuskegee Institute. “I don’t cry easily, but I do today.”

Now a retired Alfred University professor, he recalled one of his first early flights in Alabama.

“I flew over a circle of cows and they just looked up at me,” he said, laughing at the memory. “So I kept flying round and round over them, just watching them.”

Higgins was one of five Tuskegee Airmen honored on Friday at the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo.

In 2007, the honor of the Congressional Gold Medal was secured for all men and women involved in the Tuskegee Experience, the Army Air Forces program to train African-Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft during World War II.

Brooklyn native Herbert Thorpe, 93, joined the Army Reserves in 1942. He was commissioned a second lieutenant and earned his B-25 pilot’s wings in October 1942. He, like Higgins and many other Tuskegee Airmen, was unable to attend that original 2007 ceremony.

“Not being able to be at that original presentation; this is very special to me,” said Thorpe, who also received a Gold Medal for his brother Richard Thorpe, who was killed during an orientation flight in Italy in 1945.

The Tuskegee Airmen really did a remarkable job during the war. Flying alone in a fighter plane deep into German territory to protect the bombers, they then had the unenviable task to go down low on the way back and pick out and destroy targets of opportunity (trains, airfields, columns of troops, etc.)

They were on their own, and if something happened, that was that. These were brave men doing a dangerous job day after day, and they deserve the thanks and recognition of a grateful nation!

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